SBD/March 6, 2014/Media

Fox' James Murdoch Confident Company Will Reach Cash Flow Goal, Touts FS1's Upside

21st Century Fox Deputy COO James Murdoch said that the company is "confident that the networks business in particular would reach its annual $9 billion operating cash flow target in the next two-plus years," according to Georg Szalai of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Murdoch, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference yesterday in S.F., cited FS1 and "various international channels as providing upside for the company." He added the business has "reasonably good visibility" given carriage deals. Murdoch: "We love the sports business. We will continue to invest in it, but we have to make choices." Murdoch noted for example Fox' UEFA Champions League soccer rights in Italy "have exceeded the value the company is able to pay." But he said FS1 is "in good shape." Murdoch said that a recent deal with the YES Network, which ensures his company an increased stake of 80%, could provide "big growth opportunities" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 3/5). Murdoch said that the company "will be disciplined in investments in sports property." CABLEFAX DAILY notes he was "referring to the Champions League soccer rights in Italy and the LA Dodgers rights, both of which exceeded the value that Fox was willing to pay." CBS' recent rights win to the Thursday night NFL package "doesn't bother" Murdoch. He said, "I don't think it really changes how we approach those nights and how we program" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 3/6).
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